New Central Bank figures show that just over 96% of all current accounts that were open in Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland at the beginning of 2022 were either closed or inactive by the end of June this year.
Ulster Bank and KBC Bank announced their intentions to leave the Irish market in 2021.
The Central Bank has been tracking the number of account closures and new account openings in the three remaining retail banks here – AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.
17,576 current accounts in Ulster Bank and KBC Bank were still deemed by the banks as being the customer’s “primary” account.
The Central Bank said that due to the definition of a “primary account” being backward looking based on the customer’s past activity, the true figure is likely to be even lower.
It said that accounts will continue to be designated as “primary” until the necessary amount of time has passed since their previous transactions.
Today’s Central Bank show that a total of 33,695 current and deposit accounts were closed in the two exiting banks in the five weeks to the end of June.
This is much lower than the monthly closures recorded in the first four months of 2023, which reflected the reduced number of accounts that remain to be closed, along with the fact that this smaller cohort may include more “challenging” cases to settle.
In the 18 months since January 2022, the total number of current and deposit accounts closed at the two banks stands at 1,167,219.
Meanwhile a total of 57,138 accounts were opened in the five weeks to the end of June in the main remaining banks, largely unchanged compared to average weekly openings recorded in both April and May.
The Central Bank said that recent account opening figures seem to be less related to migrating accounts, as the trend in account openings over the past number of months is largely in-line with ‘business as usual’ openings observed in the market between 2019 and 2021.
A total of 1,300,813 current and deposit accounts were opened across AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB since the start 2022.
The Central Bank said today’s account migration figures will be the last issued by the regulator.
But it added it will continue to engage with the retail banks here with regard to those accounts that remain open after the end of June.